As I walk down the street I look around imagining people in trouble who need my help. Perhaps the passing woman will have her handbag snatched and I will chase the perp (that's what we call them in the biz) down and kick his arse. Maybe that guy walking down that alley will be set upon by thugs and I will rush in and beat them down. Of course, none of that happens. Never does.
On Friday as I got off the bus, I saw a group of 'youths' hanging out at the bus stop who looked like they were up to no good. I started walking slowly looking over my shoulder to see what they would do. They didn't do a damn thing. I was dying to rush over and save someone from them. But I didn't get the chance.
A couple of brushes of actual heroism spring to mind. Both of them took place in Korea.
The first one was one night when I was walking my girlfriend home one night. As we walked through a district filled with bars and restaurants, I heard a scream. I looked towards the scream and saw a guy standing over a woman hitting her with an umbrella. People were standing around watching, but no one was doing anything. I ran over and yelled at him to stop. He swore at me and swung the umbrella at me. Being as drunk as he was, his swing was pathetic. Suddenly the girl sprang up and grabbed her boyfriend and told him to stop. A friend of his who had been watching came over and told me that I should leave. The girl didn't seem to be that happy that I had helped her and I left feeling that my intervening had been a waste of time.
The second time I was on a bus heading home for the afternoon. There was a lot of traffic as it was rush hour. The bus driver was trying to pull into a bus stop, but there was a car blocking it. The driver opened his door and yelled for the guy to move away. Quick as a flash the guy lept out of his car with a tire iron and climbed onto the bus. He started threatening the bus driver with it. He hurled abuse at him and it looked like something bad was going to go down. The bus driver was being all gung ho and yelling at him to go on and hit him. I looked around at the other people on the bus and everyone was trying to look the other way. I couldn't quite believe it. I lept up from my seat and ran over to the guy. I yelled as loud as I could for him to get of the damn bus! He looked at me for a second and then said 'ok' and got off... I couldn't quite believe what I had just done. He could have easily have clobbered me with that thing, but I think I caught him off guard. I went back to my seat and the bus moved off. I don't know what I was expecting from the driver, but when I got off the bus he didn't say anything and I felt quite hollow. Like my little piece of heroism had been for nothing. No appreciation.
I see in the movies that Spiderman has the same problem. No appreciation for the things he does to save the world.
What's my point? Heroism isn't all it's cracked up to be I guess...